Craftsmen Specialty Coffee

December 11, 2016 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Craftsmen Specialty Coffee
2 First Street
#01-01 Siglap V

20 Eastwood Road
#01-06 Eastwood Centre

173 Thomson Road

275 Holland Avenue

33 Mohamed Sultan Road #01-05

6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#01-59 The Central


https://www.craftsmencoffee.com/


Salted Gula Melaka Waffle (SGD $15)



Good Coffee, Atmosphere Could Be Better

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 6
Ambience & Setting: 4
Food & Beverage: 6
Service: 6
Value for Money: 7
Spent about SGD $22 per person.


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Craftsmen Specialty Coffee has a relatively long history as a classic hipster cafe, having been established in May 2014, and with several outlets across the island. Known for their coffee and baked confectioneries, Craftsmen Specialty Coffee also offers a solid range of Western style sandwiches and brunch items.

Ambience at Craftsmen Specialty Coffee sports the retro industrial look. Rough exposed brick walls, lined with wooden shelves and furnishings, packed closely in the dim, warmly lit area. Exposed light bulbs and metal piping act as decor, while the attractive display of baked goods draw the eye. However, there are 2 things I dislike here, firstly, the poor design of the table legs, which get in your way. And secondly, the poor ventilation, which makes the smell of cooking and coffee stick to your clothing.

Service at Craftsmen Specialty Coffee is partial self-service, where ordering and payment is over the counter, but staff serve orders to your table. Even during non-peak periods, expect a slight wait for orders to be fulfilled. Staff are mostly young, chirpy and friendly, able to answer basic questions if asked. I note they're quick to clear away empty / dirty tables. Also nice that they congratulate people if they discover that a birthday is being celebrated.

Food at Craftsmen Specialty Coffee is largely Western influenced, modern European in style. Focusing on sandwiches, baked goods, desserts, brunch, and coffee. Generally, taste is above average for most items. Portions are large for individuals, and sharing is recommended. Prices are typical of most cafes. Budget about SGD $22 per person for a full meal here.


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Craftsmen Specialty Coffee Exterior


Craftsmen Specialty Coffee Interior


Counter


Menu


Menu


Menu



Loved the Soy Mocha (SGD $6.50), with its deep chocolate notes and robust flavour of roasted coffee beans. The soy milk lends a layer of flavour, complementing the coffee well.

Soy Mocha (SGD $6.50)



What I like about the Cold Brew (SGD $6) is the smooth, refreshing texture that lacks the typical bitterness of coffee. Strong without the astringent acidity, having a medium body. Better than most other places. Good!

Cold Brew (SGD $6)



Felt the Butterscotch Latte (SGD $6) was rather weak. The coffee is decent, sufficiently robust, but the light sweetness of the butterscotch got somewhat lost. Surprised, because usually with this, you expect to get a thick caramel toffee sweetness, which was missing.

Butterscotch Latte (SGD $6)



I like the Coconut Latte (SGD $6) for its floral earthy notes of coconut, delicate layered over the robust flavour of roasted coffee beans. The blend is well balanced and palatable, more so than similar versions elsewhere. They've got the ratio just right. Good!

Coconut Latte (SGD $6)



The Chai Latte (SGD $6) here is among the better versions around. Rich notes of cinnamon spice and milk, robust and well-rounded in body. I like the light touch of sweet, lacking any bitter flavour. Good!

Chai Latte (SGD $6)



The Beer Fucking Hell (SGD $10) is a German pilsner / pale lager, claimed by its creators to be named after the village of Fucking, in the Innviertel region of Austria, and the German word for 'pale', hell. Right. I'm sure the beer's creators, Stefan Fellenberg and Florian Krause, German businessmen, arrived at this totally innocent name by chance.

Fun name aside, this beer is brewed by Brauhaus Hartmannsdorf in Hartmannsdorf Bei Chemnitz municipality, in the Saxony state of Germany. It has a light, pale, straw golden colour, a frothy white foam head, and aromas of light grains, malt, hops, and grass. The thin, light, dry body is refreshing and smooth in texture, with tastes of wheat, bread, herbs, and barley. Has low carbonation, medium bitterness and a light sweetness, with a finish that is clean and quick.

Beer Fucking Hell (SGD $10)


Beer Fucking Hell
Beer Fucking Hell


Beer Fucking Hell



The Kaya Croissant (SGD $4.90) has a nice flaky exterior, but the interior is thick, doughy, and rather chewy. More dense than a typical croissant. The filling of pandan kaya / screwpine leaf coconut egg jam is properly sweet, and complements the buttery flavour of the bread. Points off for poor texture though.

Kaya Croissant (SGD $4.90)


Kaya Croissant



Loved the big, bold flavours of the Moroccan Chicken Brioche (SGD $17). The thick yet fluffy brioche bread is soft and tears apart easily, and is coated with a gooey layer of melted mozzarella cheese. Topped with fresh crunchy pea sprouts, crispy root chips, tender Morrocan spice marinated chicken chunks that have a lovely savoury spiced flavour, and sun dried tomatoes that are sharply sour with a hint of bitter. Everything works so well together. The dish is complete with 2 runny poached eggs, beautifully executed with a semi-firm exterior and a runny interior. Highly recommended!

Moroccan Chicken Brioche (SGD $17)


Moroccan Chicken Brioche


Moroccan Chicken Brioche



Those who love crisp waffles will love the Salted Gula Melaka Waffle (SGD $15). A large, crisp buttermilk waffle, rather dry on the inside but with a nice crunch, serves as the base for a scoop of sea salt caramel ice cream, drizzled with salted gula melaka / palm sugar, strawberries, blueberries, and roasted peanuts. The waffle isn't able to stand on its own, but is pretty good when combined with the other ingredients. Intense flavours of salty sweet, you get the distinct layers of each all in 1 bite. Worth ordering!

Salted Gula Melaka Waffle (SGD $15)


Salted Gula Melaka Waffle



The Churros With Ice Cream (SGD $12) feature a rich, smooth, creamy vanilla ice cream, stacked with churros on top, drizzled with chocolate sauce and dusted with icing sugar. While I like the overall flavours here, the churros have a dense, chewy texture, more akin to bread. Personally, this doesn't appeal to me, as I prefer my Spanish doughnuts / churros to be crisp, light, and airy in texture.

Churros With Ice Cream (SGD $12)


Churros With Ice Cream


Churros With Ice Cream



The Salted Caramel Cake (SGD $7.90) was not good, and in her words, 'confused'. While moist and soft, the problem lies in the flavour, it's neither sweet nor salty, tasting more like a plain butter cake. Terrible. Skip this.

Salted Caramel Cake (SGD $7.90)


Salted Caramel Cake



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Update May-2019: Recently returning periodically to Craftsmen Specialty Coffee after more than 2 years. Ambience at Craftsmen Specialty Coffee is still as poor as before, with a strong cooking odour lingering within the cafe, and sticking to your clothes. Despite the warmly lit, comfortable wooden furnishings and natural greenery, the poor ventilation is a minus. Service at Craftsmen Specialty Coffee remains partial self-service, with staff displaying their usual efficiency at cleaning up. They're also semi-knowledgeable on the menu, though uncommon orders or requests cause them pause. Food at Craftsmen Specialty Coffee remains Modern European fusion, and the menu has expanded to include more brunch options. Prices remain constant, budget about SGD $22 per person.

Craftsmen Specialty Coffee Menu 2019
Craftsmen Specialty Coffee Menu 2019


Craftsmen Specialty Coffee Menu 2019
Craftsmen Specialty Coffee Menu 2019


Craftsmen Specialty Coffee Menu 2019
Craftsmen Specialty Coffee Menu 2019


Craftsmen Specialty Coffee Menu 2019
Craftsmen Specialty Coffee Menu 2019



The Tea Azteca D'Oro (SGD $7) from Gryphon Tea Company calls to mind the mysterious Aztec culture, and their love for cocoa, said to be the food of the Gods. This caffeine-free rooibos tea blend is made with organic South Africa rooibos tea leaves, caramel, cacao nibs, and cacao shells from Madagascar. It has a rich, luscious body, bitter sweet with notes of milk chocolate, followed by an undertone of toasted peanuts. The finish is creamy and lingering, with flavours of sweet toffee. Little wonder this 'xocolatl' was favoured above gold!

Tea Azteca D'Oro
Tea Azteca D'Oro (SGD $7)



The Gula Melaka Latte (SGD $7) features a single espresso shot of coffee, stirred with sticky rich gula melaka / palm sugar. This gives the coffee a bold floral earthy sweet flavour, complementing the natural smoky toasty notes. Served with a mint chocolate bar on the side. Nice.

Gula Melaka Latte (SGD $7)


Gula Melaka Latte
Gula Melaka Latte



The Hot Chocolate (SGD $6) here uses premium Valrhona chocolate, giving it a warm, medium thick body and smooth texture. Has decent chocolatey sweet flavour. Served with little chewy sweet marshmallows, which doesn't pair that well. Still, a decent choice of beverage that I'll order again.

Hot Chocolate (SGD $6)


Hot Chocolate
Hot Chocolate



The pretty Taro Latte (SGD $7) is made from yam / taro powder, and has a lovely vibrant violet purple colour. Has a light earthy sweet flavour. Not bad as a beverage.

Taro Latte (SGD $7)


Taro Latte
Taro Latte



The Full Breakfast (SGD $25), also known as Full English Breakfast / Scrambled Eggs Breakfast / Traditional English Breakfast / English Fry Up, is a hearty meal. Features tender sauteed straw mushrooms with vegetal earthy flavour; warm squishy soft baked beans with rich tomato sweet flavour; fluffy soft scrambled eggs with eggy sweet flavour; fresh crunchy mesclun salad with juicy cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette that has bold vegetal bitter sour sweet tangy zesty flavour; firm spongy sourdough bread toast with bready sour sweet flavour; tender grilled pork back bacon with smoky salty savoury flavour; and snappy bouncy moist pork bratwurst sausage with bold salty savoury spice flavour. While it lacks waxy potatoes, this remains a substantial, value for money, tasty meal. Available throughout the day. Good!

Full Breakfast (SGD $25)


Full Breakfast
Full Breakfast


Full Breakfast



The Omelette Ham & Cheese (SGD $18), also known as Egg Omelette Ham Cheese / Ham And Cheese Omelette, is a satisfying meal. Features fluffy soft egg omelette, rolled with tender slices of pork ham, gooey mozzarella cheese, and garnished with parmesan cheese, all having an eggy sweet savoury cheesy flavour. Served with fresh crunchy mesclun salad with juicy cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette that has bold vegetal bitter sour sweet tangy zesty flavour. While it lacks tender button mushrooms, this is still a soulful, value for money, tasty meal. Available throughout the day. Good!

Omelette Ham & Cheese (SGD $18)


Omelette Ham & Cheese
Omelette Ham & Cheese


Omelette Ham & Cheese



The Fruity Waffle (SGD $15) is among the best waffles I've had. Improved since I last had it, the large buttermilk waffle is slightly crisp and crunchy on the exterior, slightly moist and spongy on the interior, with good bready sweet flavour. Drizzled with rich maple syrup, which lends a bold floral sweet flavour. Garnished with slices of fresh juicy mandarin oranges, tender slices of banana, soft strawberry slices, bouncy lychees, and bright blueberries. All lend a fruity sweet flavour burst when bit. Enjoyed this healthy and tasty dessert. Highly recommended!

Fruity Waffle (SGD $15)


Fruity Waffle
Fruity Waffle


Fruity Waffle



The Apple Cinnamon Caramel Muffin (SGD $6.90) is lovely and warm, with a soft, crumbly texture. Studded with tender cubes of green apple, laced with a thick caramel sauce and icing sugar on top, this has a robust fruity sweet flavour. Good!

Apple Cinnamon Caramel Muffin (SGD $6.90)


Apple Cinnamon Caramel Muffin
Apple Cinnamon Caramel Muffin



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